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Karnataka Covid-19 data shows unique spreaders infecting 7 on average

The Covid 19 'spread analysis' has revealed that on an average a root patient infected with the coronavirus in Karnataka spreads the infection to 6.87 persons or seven persons in rounded off terms.

Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru | Updated: May 18, 2020 5:02:31 pm
Karnataka coronavirus cases, coronavirus cases in Karnataka, Karnataka coronavirus, coronavirus Karnataka, Karnataka lockdown, India news, Indian Express The overall number of Covid-19 cases in Karnataka stands at 1,147 as of May 17. (File Photo/PTI)

The Covid-19 has spread in Karnataka mostly through patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and Influenza Like Illness (ILI) — with as many 9.68 persons persons being infected on an average by every root patient with SARI/ILI compared to 6.16 persons infected by domestic travellers and 2.26 by international travellers, according to early analysis of infection data carried out by the state Covid -9 war room. Follow coronavirus pandemic LIVE updates

The Covid 19 ‘spread analysis’ has revealed that on an average a root patient infected with the coronavirus in Karnataka spreads the infection to 6.87 persons or seven persons in rounded off terms.

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The analysis identified 62 root patients (index patients or unique spreaders) across the state from whom the disease spread to others and found that they infected a total of 426 others — with 29 SARI and ILI index patients infecting 281 persons (at an average of 9.68), while 18 patients with domestic travel history infecting 111 persons (at an average of 6.16). Among international travellers, the analysis has found that 15 index patients infected 35 others at an average of 2.26 persons.

The overall number of Covid-19 cases in Karnataka stands at 1,147 as of May 17. While the detailed spread analysis was done over a week earlier, the spread per patient in Karnataka remains at 7 infections per Covid-19 positive person despite changes in infection dynamics, according to data put out on Sunday evening the state Covid-19 war room.

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As of May 17 there are a total of 94 unique spreaders identified in Karnataka compared to 68 when the first spread analysis was done.

The ‘spread analysis’ which looks at the number of persons infected by each root patient is important to identify people that are at highest risk and can lead to “better surveillance and containment strategies,” according to IAS officer Munish Moudgil, who is in charge of the state Covid 19 war room in Karnataka.

According to the spread per patient analysis, international travellers carry a low risk of spreading the coronavirus in the community, with each root patient in this category posing highest risk to immediate family members more than the community at large.

Among the domestic travellers, the analysis has found that 15 root patients with a history of travel to Delhi (read Tablighi Jamaat congregation) had infected 100 persons — including a 20-year-old youth who infected 36 persons in the Belagavi region — while three others infected 11 persons.

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The SARI/ILI cases — which have no history of travel — have emerged as key spreaders with 29 root patients infecting 281 persons (9.68 persons on an average), with one person in Vijayapura infecting 36 others and two persons in Mysuru (at the Jubilant Generics pharma firm) infecting 38.5 persons each, the early analysis revealed.

Over the past week the cases in Mysuru have abated with all patients recovering. As of May 17, the region with the highest spread per first partient diagnosed with Covid 19 is the central Karnataka district of Davangere, with four unique Covid 19 spreaders infecting 83 persons at an average of 18 infections per unique spreader. Four deaths have occurred in Davangere.

“SARI and ILI cases have the highest spread rates,” says the ‘spread analysis’ report of the Karnataka Covid-19 war room while calling for health officials to “review full travel history of all close family members to check if asymptomatic carriers are passing over (the virus) to family who may show signs of SARI/ILI.”

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SARI and ILI cases – where persons with no travel history are testing positive for Covid 19 are a source of concern in Karnataka with seven percent of the Covid 19 cases recorded till May 17 (including 18 of 36 deaths) presenting themselves initially as SARI/ILI cases in hospitals.

“The large number of SARI/ILI cases is a matter of concern. We have held multiple meetings with experts who have said we must have early identification of SARI and ILI. It is possible that someone around them is infected,” health commissioner Pankaj Pandey said.

The late spread analysis by the Karnataka Covid-19 war room has revealed that the spread per root patient is currently highest in the districts of Davanagere, Vijayapura, Belagavi and Bellary, with people below the age of 60 likely to be the biggest spreaders of the virus.

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“More spread by a patient can happen simply as he or she was asymptomatic. Or it could happen as the real spreading person was asymptomatic but a medically fragile person shows symptoms first and he or she gets treated as the spreader,” said Munish Moudgil.

“Every patient and contact is equally critical to be traced and tracked. One never knows who will end up spreading Covid 19 to large number of persons,” he said.

The state has seen a spurt in cases in the last week with as many as 351 cases recorded between May 8 and May 15. As many as 148 of these new cases involve persons returning to Karnataka from states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan and a few from Dubai.

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